Assessing the level of food insecurity among cancer patients undergoing active cancer treatment in a low-income community
Article publication date: 19 April 2022
Issue publication date: 2 January 2023
Food insecurity exists when access to nutritionally sufficient and secure foods or the ability to obtain admissible foods in socially acceptable ways is limited or uncertain. Food insecurity is most likely associated with chronic disease. However, research into the possible relationship between food insecurity and cancer, the world’s second leading cause of death, is limited. The purpose of this study was to determine the level of food insecurity as well as the associated socioeconomic characteristics among cancer patients.
A cross-sectional study was conducted on 240 cancer patients in Iran. The socioeconomic and 18-item U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food Security Questionnaires were used to measure general and socioeconomic characteristics, as well as food security status.
The prevalence of food insecurity was 25.4% in the form of hunger and 52.5% in the form of hidden hunger. Only 22.1% of the patients were food secure. The results of the logistic regression analysis revealed that having children under 18 years old (P = 0.035), economic status (P < 0.001), age of the patient (P = 0.001), educational level of household’s head and his spouse (P = 0.044 and P = 0.045, respectively, had statistically significant relationships with food insecurity.
Cancer patients have a high rate of food insecurity. Considering the importance of food security for effective cancer treatment, the health system’s attention to this issue, particularly by policymakers, appears to be required.
The authors gratefully appreciate Student Research Committee of Tabriz University of Medical Sciences that supported this study (grant number 5/4/6552, 2014/10/29). Also, we sincerely thank all the patients for their participation in this study and express our gratitude to staff of Tabriz teaching hospitals.
Funding: Student Research Committee of Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, Grant Number: 5/4/6552, 2014/10/29.
Conflict of interest: The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
Aamazadeh, F., Alizadeh, M., Farsad-Naeimi, A. and Tofighi, Z. (2023), "Assessing the level of food insecurity among cancer patients undergoing active cancer treatment in a low-income community", Nutrition & Food Science, Vol. 53 No. 1, pp. 82-92. https://doi.org/10.1108/NFS-11-2021-0355
Emerald Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2022, Emerald Publishing Limited